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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Aug 29, 2010 6:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

Old pot charge dashes Army dream: Marina recruit deemed unfit due to high school incident

By LARRY PARSONS - Monterey County Herald
Posted: 08/29/2010 01:30:42 AM PDT

All the running and weight-training honed Martin Gilbert's wiry 120-pound, 5-foot-9 frame into peak condition.

He fully expected to be in Army boot camp by September. He wanted to be ready.

Joining the Army, Gilbert says is something he counted on since he was 8 years old and first got an eyeful of military equipment in a Texas surplus store.

His desire comes from a mix of "love of country," a deep respect for the military and hearing his politically conservative father express regrets, over the years, at not having served himself.

"I think I have the determination, the will and the work ethic,"

Gilbert said Friday in a Marina home where he rents a room.

At 25, Gilbert has two years of community college, a B-plus grade-average, a resume that contains a mix of retail electronics, construction labor and coffeehouse jobs. He has been out of work a few months -- living off savings, selling his beloved camera equipment and getting no response to many job applications. Gilbert figures it was time to make the dream come true.

"I knew I was going into the military," he said.

But that hope came crashing down Wednesday when an Army recruiter informed him that a minor marijuana case stemming from his senior year at Carmel Valley High School in 2004 has made him morally unfit for today's Army.

"I had tried it one or two times and got caught with about $5 worth at school," he said. A random check by sheriff's deputies with drug-sniffing dogs snared him and another kid. Gilbert had just turned 18.

The misdemeanor marijuana possession charge was dismissed after Gilbert paid a fine and attended drug education sessions. "They told me it would drop off my record," he said.

But the military burrows into juvenile and adult court records -- even those that are sealed, expunged or dismissed -- in making background checks on recruits. And current Army rules disqualify anyone with a case involving illegal drugs on his record -- dismissed or not.

"They have tightened it up," said Mark Howell, spokesman for the Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky.

The 6-year-old case slipped Gilbert's mind when he first started talking with an Army recruiter in Seaside. But he said he brought it up just to make sure that he couldn't be accused of hiding anything.

This week, the recruiter told him he couldn't go in the Army.

"I was devastated," Gilbert said. "It felt like my life passed before my eyes."

Gilbert grew up in Big Sur and Marin County, living off and on with parents who divorced when he was 8. He figures he has used marijuana about five to 10 times in his life, and the last time was about two years ago.

Gilbert understands the Army rule, and he knows the military invests a lot of money in each recruit.

But in a country where tens of millions of people have used marijuana and talk of legalizing the drug is common -- as with Proposition 19 on California's November ballot -- Gilbert views the Army's current rules as misguided.

"Their screening process seems flawed ... a misdemeanor marijuana charge when I was in high school, it just shocks me," he said.

Sgt. Richard Teunis, an Army recruiter in Seaside, said he could not talk about Gilbert's case because of privacy rules. But he confirmed that a case like his would automatically disqualify a recruit in today's Army.

"The Army considers any adverse disposition just like a guilty plea," he said. "It's a discussion we have had many time with the juvenile courts."

Teunis has seen other young people in Gilbert's situation. "They are disappointed," he said. "It's unfortunate but this is a federal job, and we have to go by those regulations."

Things are different with military recruiting today -- as high unemployment, the allure of job training and benefits, and help with college costs are making many eager to enlist, Howell said.

"It's a common misperception that the Army is your last resort," he said. "That was the viewpoint in the 1970s, but it's not really the case anymore.

"So many people want to join that it's making it more difficult to get in," Howell said.

The Army already has enlisted about 61,000 of it 74,500-recruit goal for the year, and basic training for some recruits is being delayed up to 14 months.

"We're meeting our goals, and at the same time our quality numbers are going up," Howell said.

It's not just young men and women coming from high school or junior colleges, but the Army is recruiting more people with four-year college and graduate degrees, Howell said.

Gilbert doesn't want to abandon his dream. He's hoping for a waiver, or, perhaps, a change in policy. "I don't want to give up hope," he said.

He admits he made a mistake, but a lot of people make mistakes -- many of them far more serious than having a tiny amount of marijuana.

"I don't hold it against them. I just think they are going about it the wrong way," he said.

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Poster: Pork Soda Date: Aug 29, 2010 7:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

"Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm
sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench
'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women,
kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug."

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 8:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

You must be speaking of the SS or Soviet armies of the past . Maybe those who wear masks and hide behind women ( who they oppress ) who do every single one of those things you describe ? I don't know your deal or past so I won't go nuts . Many people here have served or have children who are serving .

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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Aug 29, 2010 8:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

Actually, that's a quote from Arlo Guthrie's 1967 song, "Alice's Restaurant." As for your reaction to it, just Google the phrase, "My Lai." None of us is free from guilt. There are no entirely good guys.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 8:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

Please no moral relativism here . I'll puke my eggs up .
Do you get that constantly trying to reach for a better , more equal society , while admitting and learning from mistakes is something that few societies have ever done ? Give me , please , the nazi or commissar or any dictator or king who would .

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Aug 29, 2010 1:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

Micah6vs8, Pork Soda's quote from Arlo Guthrie's autobiographical "Alice's Restaurant" was, in my opinion, an appropriate if not spot on response to the initial post. I'm surprised you didn't pick up on or recognize Arlo's iconic piece of social commentary of it's day. Be that as it may, when Dhamma 1 called you on your harsh response by pointing out the quote source and the historical setting that those lyrics alluded to, you lashed out again. I do not see any blatant 'Moral relativism' here, just someone pointing out that ironically some of the absurd and nonsensical rules and attitudes of the recruiting system still exist as in 1967.

I won't say 'lighten up' when talking about war and it's consequences, but I am a bit surprised that a seemingly well read and informed person like yourself didn't research Dhamma 1's response before lashing out with another hot and inappropriate lambast to his posting. I was surprised to see this coming from you. Take some time to listen to Arlo's epic (around 18 minutes) and then you may see where Pork Soda and Dhamma 1 are coming from - you may even be entertained. Peace

This post was modified by duckpond74 on 2010-08-29 20:46:58

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 11:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

I am sorry that we disagree . I read those posts differently .

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Aug 29, 2010 12:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

No problem, I was just surprised . . . just not what I would have expected.

On another subject, having seen your posts on B. Boop and the Fleischers' works, are you familiar with the 2 DVD compilation from Kit Parker films, "Somewhere in Dreamland"?? 2 discs, 35 uncut cartoons, 270 minutes of animated wonder worth pursuing.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 29, 2010 4:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

well I'm way past the age to be drafted if their ever was one but if there ever is I guess I know I can plant a little on my son : )

no offense to those who have relatives who serve, just don't
want that for my kids

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Poster: jolly mon Date: Aug 29, 2010 4:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

my dad has been mia in viet nam since mar 24, 1967, check out the virtual wall listing:
http://www.virtualwall.org/de/EllisonJC01a.htm

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Poster: jolly mon Date: Aug 29, 2010 4:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

my dad has been mia in viet nam since mar 24, 1967, check out the virtual wall listing:
http://www.virtualwall.org/de/EllisonJC01a.htm

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 29, 2010 4:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

that really sucks. I'm really sorry

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Poster: jolly mon Date: Aug 29, 2010 5:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

they dug up half a mountain and found 5 grams of bone, 1 % matched the b/n(bombider nagivator) dna and gave relief to his family, my family has no evidence of recovery of dna, no finding for my family, we still wait for a decent answer, thanks jots, it's not anything new for the government to lie and try and some "common grave" bs with us

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Aug 29, 2010 6:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

nothing I can say to this except how horrible this is. I'm really sorry for you

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 7:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: With All Apologies

jm , I am so sorry that you and your family have lived for 43 years waiting to find out . I am sorry that it continues .
Thank - you for your father's service , and your families , as it is not only the soldier who serves .
I can not imagine the profound effect this has had on your life .
May peace and balance be with you .

If something comes up , these folks will fly you anywhere in the world for free .

edit - even though it reads with priority from soldiers from Afghanistan , all soldiers and their families back to WW2 have been a part of VAC .

http://www.veteransairlift.org/page/1/about_vac.jsp

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-08-30 02:35:27

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 29, 2010 8:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

Military Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increase

By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer, April 22, 2008

GR2008042200161.gifThe Army accepted about one-fourth more recruits in 2007 with a record of legal problems ranging from felony convictions and serious misdemeanors to drug crimes and traffic offenses. Pressure to increase the size of U.S. ground forces led the military to grant more waivers for criminal conduct according to the data. "Conduct Waivers" for Army recruits rose from 8,129 in fiscal 2006 to 10,258 in fiscal 2007. For Marine Corps recruits, they increased from 16,969 to 17,413.

The Army accepted more than double the number of applicants with convictions for felony crimes such as burglary, grand larceny and aggravated assault, rising from 249 to 511, while the corresponding number for the Marines increased by two-thirds, from 208 to 350. The vast majority of such convictions stem from juvenile offenses. Most involved theft, but a handful involved sexual assault and terrorist threats, and there were three cases of involuntary manslaughter.

"The significant increase in the recruitment of persons with criminal records is a result of the strain put on the military by the Iraq war," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which released the Pentagon data on felony waivers.

Pentagon officials acknowledged that the requirement to recruit more troops -- part of an effort to expand the Army and Marine Corps by tens of thousands by 2011 -- coupled with declining interest in military service in part caused by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has led to accepting more recruits with criminal backgrounds.

"We're digging deeper into the barrel than we were before" as a result of the difficult recruiting environment, said a Defense Department official, who requested anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak publicly. "Would I like to see the waivers lower? Yes."

Serious misdemeanors in 2007 made up the largest single category of conduct waivers, which excuse crimes ranging from armed robbery to, in the case of the Marine Corps, one-time marijuana use.

In 2007, the active-duty Army and Marine Corps brought in about 80,000 and 35,000 active-duty recruits, respectively. The number of 2007 recruits with felony conviction waivers amounted to less than 1 percent of the total soldiers and Marines recruited that year.



This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2010-08-29 15:53:39

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Aug 29, 2010 8:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

Thanks for posting this Monte... I see a blatant contradiction here...

"Things are different with military recruiting today -- as high unemployment, the allure of job training and benefits, and help with college costs are making many eager to enlist, Howell said."

"It's a common misperception that the Army is your last resort," he said. "That was the viewpoint in the 1970s, but it's not really the case anymore.

Here's where I see the first contradiction... if it wasn't for high unemployment we wouldn't be seeing all these "new" people enlisting. So the fact that he says it isn't a last resort is kinda BS... I am certain that enlisting would not be nearly as attractive in a better job market.

"So many people want to join that it's making it more difficult to get in," Howell said.

The Army already has enlisted about 61,000 of it 74,500-recruit goal for the year, and basic training for some recruits is being delayed up to 14 months.

"We're meeting our goals, and at the same time our quality numbers are going up," Howell said."


Another contradiction, directly in relation to your post about the number of conduct waivers being issued. Maybe overall their quality numbers are going up due to people with Bachelors degrees turning to the armed forces to help pay off their loans and get a secure job, but the fact that there are felons who killed, raped, burgled, etc. getting in sure doesn't mean increased quality of soldier to me...

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 29, 2010 9:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

Here's another take on Military Waivers for pot-smoking, in this case:

"I had tried it one or two times and got caught with about $5 worth at school," Martin Gilbert says.

"Serious misdemeanors in 2007 made up the largest single category of conduct waivers, which excuse crimes ranging from armed robbery to, in the case of the Marine Corps, one-time marijuana use," the Washington Post reports.

Mr. Gilbert should hide his bong. He can approach the Marine Recruiters, and "honestly tell them" he smoked pot just once. The 2006 & 2007 data shows The Marines take pot smokers. Just say you only did it once.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 9:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

Monte , I am sorry this is off topic . I have been wondering if you had archived your ' new grass ' ( no pun intended ) and other music ? You had some questions & concerns about this at the beginning of summer .

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 29, 2010 10:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: my new tapes were added to LMA

my tapes

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: my new tapes were added to LMA

Thank - you . That's a pretty cool achievement .

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 29, 2010 10:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

dn_logo.png

another contradiction: Military Suicides on the Rise - August 6, 2010 newshour interview

"Soldier suicides are on the rise in America. In June alone, at least thirty-two active-duty and reserve officers took their own lives, the highest monthly figure since record keeping began."

"Meanwhile, a new US Army report has found that the rate of suicide by soldiers in the Army has risen above the civilian rate for the first time since the Vietnam War. In 2009, 160 soldiers committed suicide; another 146 died by other violent means, such as murder, drug abuse or reckless driving while drunk; another 1,700 attempted suicide."

"The report faulted commanders for ignoring rising mental health, drug and crime issues among soldiers. One-third of soldiers take at least one prescription drug, and 14 percent are on some form of powerful painkiller."

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Aug 29, 2010 10:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

This is quite sad. I am glad that our fellow forumite's son is not one of these tragic cases.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 29, 2010 8:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Army & Marines Waivers for Ex-Convicts Increases

I agree dp .

And no one ought to mess wit you on IKYR . You know your 8 - 26 - 71 ! :)

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Poster: roughyed Date: Aug 30, 2010 2:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Busted for Weed: Rejected by the Army

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--JTnwsSyeM&;feature=related

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